Four common multicommunicating misconceptions
Multicommunicating (MC) represents a form of multitasking in which employees such as IS analysts and managers engage in multiple conversations at the same time (e.g., by sending texts while on a telephone call). MC can occur either during group meetings or during one-on-one conversations: the present paper focuses on the latter, termed dyadic MC. MC is increasingly prevalent in the workplace and is often useful in today’s business world, for example by making it possible to respond in a timely manner to urgent communications. Nonetheless, the efficacy of MC behaviors can also be questioned as they have been found to negatively affect performance and workplace relationships, as well as causing stress. During our investigations of this phenomenon, we often heard IS practitioners say ‘So what? I do this all the time, it’s no problem!’ which suggests that certain misconceptions regarding MC behaviors may be prevalent. Arising from research findings in multiple disciplines, we examine four such practitioner beliefs regarding MC behaviors: MC makes employees more accessible, it enhances productivity, it is required in most jobs, and rudeness is not an issue when MC. Further, we suggest recommendations to IS employees and managers so that they can better manage MC.
Keywordsmulticommunicating multitasking accessibility rudeness productivity habits
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